The Japanese chin dog belongs to one of the exotic dog breeds that actually originated in China. They were presented as gifts to the Empress of Japan. As such, they came to be maintained and bred by the nobility of the country, and this resulted in the development of the dog breed of different standards. As such, you may find a variation in the coat density, personality, fragility, eye set, and bone structure in different Japanese chin dogs. Overall, they are small and lively dogs, that are elegant and playful. They have a thick coat, and move gracefully, almost like cats. They are related to other eastern breeds, such as the Tibetan spaniel, the Shih Tzu, and the Pekingese.
Appearance and Temperament
This is a small and fragile dog, with a height that may range between 8 to 11 inches, while the weight is between 4 to 11 pounds. Its face is flat, and has large eyes that are set wide apart, while its coat is long, soft, and silky.
It makes a great companion dog, simply because of its intelligent, affectionate, and playful nature. It is alert, and warms up to every family member in the house. It enjoys being with its owner, following it around, and cuddling up at every opportunity. At times, they may be wary of strangers, but mostly gel well with almost anyone around, including children and other pets. Though they love to be independent, they are sensitive and enjoy being with their owners. They are very obedient and quick learners, and thus, can be easily trained.
As such, they would make a great option for newbies who wish to adopt a dog for a pet. However, since they are fragile, they would not make great companions for very young children, as they may not be able to deal with the rough manner in which children usually handle pets. Also, they may suffer from separation anxiety, and thus require a good amount of attention. Exposing them to different people and types of environment will make them accustomed to change without getting anxious.
Regular Care, Environment and Health
Taking care of a Japanese chin involves:
- Combing its coat at least twice a week, to keep it tangle-free.
- Shampooing occasionally as it keeps itself clean.
- Keeping the eyes and ears clean at all times to prevent the occurrence of infections.
- Taking it for short walks daily, and spending 'play time' with it.
- This breed is prone to heavy shedding, so that is something you may have to get used to.
This fragile dog may be prone to the following health problems.
- Since it is flat-nosed, it is prone to several breathing and heart problems.
- It is important to avoid extreme temperature with this breed, mainly heat, as it cannot adapt to very hot and humid conditions.
- Genetically, a Japanese chin may be prone to knee problems such as dislocation.
- Since its eyes are large, they can be easily scratched.
- This breed may have a few seasonal allergies.
- Also, as it is a small breed, it is at a higher risk of developing low sugar levels, especially as a puppy, till it matures.
- The small size also contributes to a whelping problem.
If a Japanese chin dog is well taken care of, its lifespan can range anywhere between 9 to 12 years.